How to polish 60/40 copper-zinc alloy bangle?

by Karen

I have a beautiful Koi bangle. The bracelet has a silver appearance but is actually cast from 60/40 copper/zinc alloy. It has turned from silver to yellow. I have tried polish cloths, liquid silver cleaner, and even used a little steel wool lightly (on the underside to stay safe). Nothing has worked. Any recommendations to return the finish to silver, not yellow?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Karen!

When 40 percent zinc is added to 60 percent copper, brass is the resulting alloy. So, you have a bracelet made of yellow brass. Your alloy mix is also called, Muntz Metal, which is yellow in color. Sounds to me that your bracelet was plated with something - probably rhodium, to give it a "silver" color. Eventually, that wears off and it's turned back to it's original yellow brass color.

Some jewelry stores in your area may offer silver, nickle or rhodium plating which would restore the brass bracelet's original silvery color. But, that too would eventually wear off. If you are unable to get the bracelet re-plated, simply polish it up and enjoy your new "gold" bracelet.

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